Questions about pinging

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Pinging is something I've never fully understood I know it basically alerts the search engines when you publish new content on your site or blog. Other than that, I find it hard to get my head around it. I have done a search here and elsewhere and still don't completely understand how to approach it. I was just wondering if anyone could offer a basic explanation of what it is, how to approach it, and the benefits of it. This will help the newbies too

My sites are mostly WP powered, and in my admin area the box where it lists ping services has this in it:-

I have also installed MaxBlogPress which optimizes the process apparently. Do I need to have a list of ping addresses in that box? Do I just paste a list in there and the rest takes care of itself? Does anyone have a comprehensive and reliable list? Many thanks
#pinging #questions

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